Tao Te #79 ~ solutions
We believe in Compassion, Reconciliation and Forgiveness.
Kindness, forgiveness and letting go of conflict is an essential part of positive transformation.
When we forgive, we are giving a gift not only to those whom we are forgiving but also ourselves. The act of opening hearts releases pain and then makes room for love.
There is no purpose in finding fault or dwelling on the past. To be sure one must learn from the past, but we should not live in the past. Certainly not dwell on the slights and petty difficulties we believe were visited on us by others. Focusing on pain tends to amplify it and soon we can find ourselves living in delusions.
The Story of Junior
There is a tale of a man who was always upset and his health was failing. When asked about what was upsetting him, he would respond "If you only knew the shit I go through." His father had been so happy to have a son, he had given him his name. The name came in very handy. People would ask him about the world and he would never hesitate to tell them about all the bad things that were happening, about all the bad people that were doing this or that and how the world was a festering craphole. When someone would tell him that he was being negative, he would respond: "That's bullshit, I am Frank, that is my name and I am just teling the truth, being Frank. It is not negative to be Frank. It is simply honest."
Frank was really Frank Jr. but he kept this fact carefully hidden. He felt it was terrible to be a "junior". His father was a great man and got him out of trouble many times. His father was educated and kind but he was not perfect. He was caring and he cared for his children. "Junior" as he was known by his brothers and sisters was the oldest. His brothers and sisters could not remember a time when he was happy or kind. He would seem happy after some particular personal triumph but that would pass like a summer breeze or the foul air he would release in the car to the torment of his younger siblings.
Anyone listening to Junior, would quickly assume that his father was a devil. He would rant about his father Frank and tell whoever listened that his father had ruined his life through this action or that failure. Of course his father was not always the subject of his rants, sometimes it was his mother, his brothers or his sisters. If you listened to him long enough, one might believe that he came from a family of demons who were only intent on hurting him. His friends were always surprised at Christmas time when he would get nice gifts from his family or on those rare occasions they would meet his father or mother and they would smile and act kind. His father would often joke on these occasions saying: "Frankly Junior you should lighten up." This would only make Junior angry and bitter as he believed his friends would share that he was a "junior" and they would all call him junior but no one else noticed but him.
Junior would have a beer and explain how his family only acted nice. He would rant on about how dreadful his father really was, or his mother or a certain brother or sister. One day his father died. Someone said: "Now your father is dead. He hurt you so much. Perhaps now you can get on with your life." He struck this friend in the head and said: "it was not my father that was bad, he was an idiot but it was was my mother that was wicked and he proceeed to rant about his mother.
After a while he did not have that many friends, pehaps because when he was not reviling his family he would find fault with them. So he would call his old mother on the phone and drone on and on. During this time, he told his mother "I am sick" and soon he was in the hospital with a heart attack. His mother asked one of his hated sibliings to go with her to the hospital, but their visit was a cause for complaint. They had brought him gifts. He complained that the reading glasses he had asked for made it possible for him to read the magazines he had requested which were full of bad news. It was obviously "their fault", he told his mother on phone.
His mother was a patient and loving soul but despite the fact that she was the only person who would listen to him. He would do things to make her life miserable. He moved into one of her rental properties which was her way to have a pension. She would ask for help cutting the trees on her property and he would charge her $1000 and have the workers cut all the trees but the one she wanted cut. He barged into her home early in the mornings when she was barely awake and take the tools his father had left her. When asked to return the tools he would complain that he was too sick to bring them back.
He called the local constabulary to complain about her properties so they would come make an inspection and then write her up for various infractions. She would go to the village and explain that she was an elderly lady and could not fix everything in the middle of winter. Her angry son would complain to the few drinking buddy friends that he had left, about how terrible she was and how she had ruined his life, how all he did was work all day and night for her. Then when he was on the phone with her, he would demand a new car and demand that she let him live rent free. He was mentally disabled and had a section 8 check but he needed that check to buy this or that. He had a small job working as a journalist for a tiny town newspaper and they loved his work because he was able to write about the terrible things he saw and people always like that more than celebrations of life and of course he took pictures which were devoid of his negative commentary revealing that all is simply about the interpretation.
One day, his mother couldn't stand his abuse anymore and threw him out. She decided that she did not want to listen to him on the telephone anymore. She had at least one son who cared about her and though not perfect at least he was not cruel. This of course gave the other son loads of fuel to complain some more about his mother and of course to revile his brother.
The mother sold all she had, her home and rental properties and moved away as far as she could get from her miserable son and his abuse. She lived for another 20 years or so, visiting her grandson and granddaughter and travelling the world. During that time, Frank Jr. complained incessantly to whomever would listen. Some would believe him but most would just shrug. When she died, he went to her funeral and saw her one last time before she was cremated. He had a drinking buddy with him who said "my poor man, I know you are in pain with her death but remember all the pain she caused you during your life and simply let go." He slapped his friend but his friend forgave him and they went to have a drink where Junior complained about one of his brothers and how he was really "a bastard" and the source of all his misery. One day Junior died. He had written his own obituary which was in itself a complaint about the world. His only son paid for his funeral but other than that no one came to his grave. He was forgotten by all except for a few old pots that lasted for a while but somehow the pots he created were imbued with his anger. Around them, people would argue with one another and soon they were reduced to shards. The only remaining memory of him were the words on his gravestone which despite his desires included "Jr." And of course old articles in a tiny newspaper which would live on through the internet, not for their greatness but simply because they were there and like all things digital became duplicated a thousand times until one day the electricity went silent and so did they.
It is best to forgive and to let go. Move on and do not remain in the past or believe the worst of people. Celebrate life and love and you will have lots of friends and your family will love having you around.